Sermons from July 2015
There is an old Cherokee story about a grandfather who is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he says to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil –filled with anger, envy, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, inferiority, false pride, superiority, ego. The other wolf is good – full of joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, faith. The same fight is going on- inside you – and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thinks about this for a minute and then asks his grandfather, “Well, which wolf will win?” The old Chief simply replies, “The one you feed.”
As part of this years’ Summer Sermon series, I’ve been doing a little background work. This past week I’ve spent some time in conversation with two different addiction counselors; one a private clinical counselor, the other who now heads a pretty good sized recovery center in the county. With both of them, we talked about 12-Step Programs, their strengths and weaknesses, and what about them that makes them work. They both agreed, independently, that they don’t know what it is that ‘clicks’ with people, how it is that recovery truly begins. They acknowledged the reality of relapse; but also again, independently, used the same three words that are part of Step 7, and that all nearly universally come into play when recovery takes place and holds fast. These three words are the focus of our message for today… HUMBLY. ASK. GOD.
Well, in some ways, this is what Step Six is — a break from our working at it, a respite from our efforts- a release from what it is that is pulling us down. As Rohr puts it, the process is in it’s very nature paradoxical and in some ways unnatural; for us to ‘get out of the way and let the soul take its natural course.’ While it is very hard to do, at the same time, the reality of paradoxes is more common, at least in our religious lives, than we normally acknowledge. We say that Jesus is human and divine at the same time. We speak of communion as Jesus’ body & blood, sealed in the bread and the cup. We speak of God as Father, and Mother – and yet have never seen nor touched this origin of our birth.